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SurfAid Situation Report: Sumatran Earthquakes

| posted on October 08, 2009

Three groups of SurfAid assessment teams, ascertaining where SurfAid should focus its initial relief efforts, have returned from the sub-districts of Agam and Pasaman Barat (West Pasaman), which lie to the north of Padang and were heavily hit by the earthquakes.

“SurfAid was requested by UN-OCHA to undertake rapid assessment of two coastal sub-districts of Agam and we found 75,000 people without shelter,” SurfAid Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Judge, said today from SurfAid Emergency Response headquarters in Padang. “Rain is forecast for the next week so SurfAid is urgently planning with other agencies to respond to this assessment.”

SurfAid has loaded a boat, the Kuala Intan Baru2, with emergency supplies for Pasaman Barat. On board are 300 shelter kits, 700 tarpaulins, 300 construction kits and 500 hygiene packs, plus medical staff. The boat will depart from Muara Harbour Padang at 8am tomorrow (Wednesday 7 October) bound for Sasak Harbour in the north.

Tom Plummer, our Mentawai Program Manager who has come to Padang from his base in Tua Pejat, said: “We have enough solid information about the situation and we are sending shelter and hygiene kits to the affected area as soon as we can, along with doctors, nurses and medicine, so the community can receive immediate help.”
A team of six from SurfAid will join the boat, along with one person from Trocaire. The journey will take eight hours.

The emergency supplies will be distributed to the three worst-hit sub-districts of Pasaman Barat:
1. Sasak Ranah Pasisia, IDPs 1000
2. Luhak Nan Duo, IDPs 15,000
3. Kinali, IDPs 30,000
(IDPs – Internally Displaced Persons. These figures are a broad estimation only.)

Kuala Intan will act as a floating warehouse, staff accommodation and communication
post. The team will take two motorbikes onboard the boat. Other boats are standing by in Muara Harbour if further supplies are needed to Sasak.
SurfAid CEO Dr Dave Jenkins, Matt Hannon and Tom Plummer will depart Padang to Sasak
with a speedboat to do primary treatment and further assessment tomorrow morning.
SurfAid is planning with other aid agencies – IOM (trucks and transport), Save
the Children (NFIs (non food items), especially shelter) and SurfAid (distribution, Monitoring & Evaluation) – to do distribution in the Agam area. Departure is also planned for tomorrow.
Shelter has been identified as key priority in all areas and SurfAid is currently sourcing shelter kits from cities outside Padang.

SurfAid Founder and CEO, Dr Dave Jenkins, said all SurfAid staff have rallied, despite some of them having near-death experiences and others losing their homes.
“The team spirit amazes me yet again as we roll out our program to the many people in need,” Dr Dave said. “These are unforgettable moments for our maturing organisation – to serve with such warm-hearted people passionately committed to the welfare of others.”
Summary of SurfAid rapid assessments:

1. SurfAid will be focusing on two sub-districts of Agam and Pasaman Barat. Pasaman Barat’s worst areas are: Luhak Nan Duo, Kinali, and Sasak Ranah Pasisia.
2. Agam: Worst areas are Tanjung Raya and Nibung (Lubuk Basung), where 99% of the village has been damaged or collapsed.
3. Assessment data will be compiled by SurfAid’s Dr Saiful Sofjan to ascertain the needs for further plans on medical care provisions, trauma clinic and school space.
4. Re-assessment about the exact location where SurfAid can pitch tents will be communicated by the assessment team by telephone.
5. The Trauma Clinic team will meet several psychology teams from Universitas Andalas to discuss the framework of working with the community members and religious leaders to provide a cultural trauma approach for the community in Chinatown and other areas within the Padang region, and as well for Agam and Pasaman Barat.

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